So for the first time being in Nueces County Jail, we the inmates held it down together, we had this particular shitty guard who was being an ass and coming up with dumb rules, one of which is we couldn’t change the channel on the T.V. (yes I know, give me convenience or give me death!). Anyways, it was because the guard himself was watching T.V. He admitted this to us saying that “We’ll watch what I wanna watch.” He also was looking for any excuse to rack us up (lockdown) probably so he can better watch T.V.
So anyways, I was watching a chess game (yes of course with my hand carved and molded soap pieces) and someone changed the T.V. channel and soon after the guard came in and unplugged it telling us all to “rack it up,” about 50 of the 70 refused telling him to call rank, so we can explain to them that he’s trying to watch T.V. instead of doing his job. Of course we were right and he refused to call and that’s when the showdown began.
In refusal of his orders, the T.V. got turned back on and channels were changed, people started getting on with their chess and card games. He came and unplugged it again so we all moved out to where the camera was the best angle and continued to yell and taunt him… he was scared and knew he was in the wrong. So he called in the JET (Jail Enforcement Team i.e. Jail SWAT) He told all of us to rack up but refused to open our cell doors (a dirty, dirty trick I might add). So we were all still out in the open when 5 guards with riot sized pepper spray cans came in ready to throwdown.
After a short standoff they realized it was not only a part of protocol, but in their best interest to pen our cells and at least give us the opportunity to rack down, and of course face to face with pepper spray, all but one of us did. So no riot, but we still flexed some of our strength which is more than I ever expected from my neighboring inmates who usually do a good enough job policing themselves and each other. We also without a doubt left an impression on the asshole guard. He will also have to justify to his superior why he called in the JET team, i.e. the equivalent of sending him to the principal’s office. Yes!!!
The one guy is still out there getting questioned by all the guards, and he’s still holding his own as best he can. I would have gave in already, fuck being called out and isolated like that. He’s going to have to receive some sort of punishment, because although he was in the right, he’s an inmate and it’s blasphemy to show the guards for the scum that they are. Plus, if they didn’t punish him, we would all know that we can get away with standing up for ourselves. So, fuck T.V. but I’m glad something was a catalyst for this showdown. After each sentence I write, I get up to go check on the inmate still getting questioned… so if this sounds scattered it’s because it’s still very much happening.
Five minutes have passed and things have settled some, they took the inmate out of the unit, and now they are P.R. Bonding (letting someone go free) the wife beater because the jail has reached over-capacity. Fuck that! Half of these inmates are on lesser non-violent drug and property offenses but of course they let the wife beater go. Then again, in our culture, wives and children are just as much property as a T.V. or probably valued at even less. It’s only called domestic violence in name not in definition. It’s an illusionary term to appease the masses, to make it look like they are holding violent perpetrators accountable.
It’s amazing how any one hour of being incarcerated will foretell the disgusting hypocrisy of those in power. Even that’s not right. Hypocrisy assumes they are going against their self or stated interests and those in power are safely hidden well behind these hourly and salaried grunts. The struggle to stay in power rages on. We just got unracked, and I’m going to go see if I can find out if that one inmate is okay.
15 minutes have passed and in a typical “abuse of power” (once again an illusionary term to appease the masses, whether we see it that way or not, they hold an unaccountable and self-justifying monopoly on violence), the prison guards are running through the rule book to justify their actions, after the fact. Still no word on the inmate, or what kind of punishment he faces, the only thing for sure is that he will face it. Fuck incarceration!
Written from the Nueces County Jail
(Transcribed by Charity)